The National Let Their Stirring Sound Ring Out

August 4, 2008 12:55 AM ET

If there was ever a band who didn't fit the festival mold, it's the National. Their songs are late-night meditations on love, loss and regret — not exactly rousing sing-along material. However, that didn't stop a passionate crowd from turning downtrodden tunes like "Baby, We'll Be Fine" (with it's refrain of "I'm so sorry for everything") into unabashed anthem. The group's stirring indie anthems were augmented by a horn section, which gave "Start a War" a little extra gravitas. Frontman Matthew Beringer didn't seem fazed by the venue in the slightest — perhaps opening an arena tour for R.E.M. lent him some swagger — and he managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy while shredding his vocal cords during the set-closing "Mr. November," which he dedicated to Barack Obama.

More Lollapalooza Coverage: Rock 'N' Roll Diary

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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